This is a copy of an article I wrote for the Billericay Gazette on Wednesday 13 April 2022.

Those words will echo through the world-wide Christian Church on Easter Sunday as we celebrate Jesus’ rising from the dead.  Whilst some people look upon Jesus’ resurrection as a myth, there is a huge amount of credible historical evidence (including Roman and Jewish writings as well as secular historians) to support the fact that Jesus lived, was crucified and, more importantly, that his body was missing from the tomb after he said he would rise from the dead.

One of the more tangible pieces of evidence of Jesus’ resurrection is the fact that it changed the lives of his followers, who were willing to die themselves rather than deny what they had witnessed. Many in our world today testify to changed lives as a result of faith in the risen Jesus.

It is because of this, that Holy Week is one of the most significant weeks in the Christian calendar as it tells one of the most compelling stories ever told: God’s story! HIStory! A story that reminds us how:

God loved the world, He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

Sometimes, in the busyness of life, we often find ourselves unable to find time to remind ourselves about God’s story of love, mercy and grace. Sometimes, we need to set time aside to slow down, to quiet our hearts and minds, to lay aside our own agenda, and to be available for new experiences. This can be through prayer and quiet reflection. It can be through worship.  It can be through reading the Bible. It can be through attending church (onsite, online or offline!)

May I encourage you to ‘make time’ for God this Easter and journey through Holy Week, from the: Praise of Palm Sunday; Poignancy of Maundy Thursday; Sorrow of Good Friday and the Joy of Celebration on Easter Day.  May I extend an invitation to join us here at Emmanuel or at a church near you?

May God’s richest blessing be upon you during these final days of Lent as we prepare to celebrate all that Easter brings.

Revd Paul A. Carr
Emmanuel Church, Billericay

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